From the Arizona State University State Press, September 28, 1984, vol. 67, no. 23.

Government should not redistribute wealth


In response to Mike Simmer's letter of Sept. 26: You state the middle class has gained nothing and the lower class has lost a great deal as a result of Reagan's tax cuts. This is nonsense. I noticed a substantial increase in take-home pay as a result of tax cuts, and I am not upper class by any stretch of the imagination. [Note added 26 May 1998: I don't know what measurement I actually did here, if any--my paychecks did slowly grow through the eighties, but I don't know how much was due to reduced withholding of taxes and how much was due to increase in hourly pay.]

As far as deficit spending is concerned, I continually hear people saying all sorts of terrible things it's going to cause. I'm still waiting. Very little of our national debt is external, so I doubt the deficit is really significant. Personally I am in favor of cutting spending and taxes way back. Apparently you are in favor of increasing both. [Note added 26 May 1998: The first three sentences of this paragraph make me grimace, today.]

Later in your letter you state "the poor must be fed" and that "there must be a helping hand from the rich to the poor." You should keep in mind that you cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the rich out of it. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. What the government gives to one person it must take (by force or threat of force) from someone else. The government has no business redistributing wealth. There is no better way to kill the initiative of a group of people than to convince half that it will be supported by the other half and to convince that half [that] the fruits of its labor will be taken from them. If some people would just give to the poor themselves rather than trying to get the government to do it for them, we'd be a lot better off. [Note added 26 May 1998: Part of this paragraph was inspired by a passage often wrongly attributed to Abraham Lincoln authored by Rev. W.J.H. Boetcker (see John George and Laird Wilcox, American Extremists (1996, Prometheus Books, p. 405))--I am glad I didn't directly quote it or attribute it to Lincoln.]

Jim Lippard
Sophomore, Computer Science